Felicity Thomas is a Research Fellow on the Cultural Contexts of Health and a Senior Research Fellow in the Medical School at University of Exeter. After working for several years in the international development sector, she pursued doctoral research on the impacts of HIV and AIDS on rural livelihoods and social support networks in southern Africa. More recently, her work has drawn on narrative, ethnographic and participatory approaches to deepen understanding of the social, cultural and political factors that perpetuate health inequalities within low-income communities and migrant groups; environment-related health inequities; and the promotion of healthy schools. Amongst other publications, Felicity has edited and co-edited a number of books including the Handbook of Migration and Health (2016); Culture, Health and Sexuality: An Introduction (2015), Migration, Health and Inequality (2013) and Mobility, Sexuality and AIDS (2010). She is currently examining how moral narratives relating to responsibility and welfare reform influence the medicalisation of distress in low-income communities in the UK.
Felicity has a strong interest in interdisciplinary teaching and is keen to expand the medical curriculum to bring in the perspectives afforded by the humanities and social sciences. She maintains a strong commitment for research that is policy relevant, and has undertaken such work for organisations including UNAIDS, WHO, the Ministerio da Educacao in Brazil, the Departments of Health and Education and Communities, NSW, Australia, and the Ford Foundation.
Felicity is co-director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Culture and Health and sits on the WHO Europe Expert Advisory Groups on the Cultural Contexts of Health and the Enhancement of Health 2020 Monitoring and Evaluation.